(The Independent) They share a name – David – and a passion for nature. For a while they also shared a place in the vanguard of nature documentary-making, broadcasting from every corner of the globe to the homes of millions. But while one, Attenborough, basks in the glow of national treasure status, the other claims he is now a pariah.

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But for the grace of God he would be revered as the man who brought botany to life through glorious rambling monologues in a time before CGI graphics and hi-tech film techniques became de rigueur. But his fame and acclaim rolled off the rails in 2004 when – in the teeth of public opinion and mounting scientific evidence – he said global warming was nothing but “poppycock”. He was deserted by fans, shunned by peers and, he says, ostracized by broadcasters and conservation groups that once thrived through his endorsement: he was sacked as president of the Wildlife Trusts.

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